There are a lot of self-care apps on the market, and I promise, I have tried a large chunk of them. I would always start out strong with my goals and meditations, but the preset goals never worked out for me. In late 2021, I was a senior in college, and once again found myself searching for something to help guide me, keep me out of a depressive mindset and focus on the positivity I wanted to see in my future. That’s when I found Finch. This app was designed to help boost a person’s self-care and mental health with the help of a digital pet.
Finch is free to download but offers a yearly subscription for Finch Plus which opens all of the self-care features on the app. It is a yearly payment of $39.99. I am not usually one to pay for an app but found this one to be well worth the cost. With the whole app available to me, I have been able to focus and keep my anxiety and depressive symptoms at bay.
Once you download the app free, you can create and name your bird. My bird is named Mojito. Once Mojito was created, I started completing daily self-care practices to send him on adventures. Each day he gains enough energy for an adventure, he comes back with a new discovery which allows him to grow and evolve.
Within the app, you can also connect with other people who use it. My sister has a bird named Waddles, and our birds visit and spend time together. This is a fun feature because my sister and I live in different states, so we don’t often have a chance to spend “real time” together. Sometimes we don’t even get to talk on the phone during the day, but on Finch, we send each other notes and reminders that we care and to take care of ourselves. It always feels good to know she is thinking of me when I see Waddles appear on my screen, and I hope she feels the same about Mojito.
Table of Contents
With the full paid subscription, Finch offers several self-care features:
This section is a compiled list of grounding techniques, breathing exercises, symptom quizzes and reflections designed to be used when you are at your worst. There is also a helpline button which connects you to a searchable database of help.
Acts of kindness
This section is mainly about goals. It offers suggestions of different acts of kindness you can complete in a day. Some are more complex like volunteering, and some are much simpler like holding the door for someone. This is also where you can connect with your Finch friends and reflect on past experiences with kindness.
This is exactly what it sounds like. It offers two timers: a meditation timer and a focus timer. Both offer the option to have background soundscapes, but only the meditation timer offers the option for bells to ring to signify where you are at in your meditation time.
There are a variety of soundscapes available including water, different ecosystems, weather, animals, indoor experiences, urban environments as well as pre-made mixes.
This section offers a few different ways to get your blood moving such as stretching, yoga and basic no-equipment exercises.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is step back and take a breath. This app understands that and offers several different breathing exercises designed to induce focus, calm or energy. There are also breathing exercises designed specifically for first thing in the morning and before bed at night.
This is not necessarily an everyday section, but it is extremely important. It offers a few different quizzes to track symptoms for anxiety and depression as well as track pessimism, gratitude, sleepiness and body appreciation. This section is great for tracking your progress with these areas of your life.
We all need a place to let our thoughts out occasionally. This section offers guided journal entries as well as free-form journaling. Some of the guided entries are designed for deep dives into moments of life, to look at the big picture of things, to instill a calmness or to provide energy.
Once again, this section is quite self-explanatory. It offers a space to set daily goals or for the future. Goals can be scheduled with reminders or assigned a journey to work towards a bigger overarching goal.
All of these are great ways to practice self-care and your Finch is around to provide encouragement throughout your day. When I started out with this app, I really only used it because I thought the bird was cute and it was fun to watch him grow and eventually be able to buy him things. I had always understood the premise was to start taking better care of myself, but I was so focused on my little bird that I didn’t realize how well it was working.
Mojito and I are now 419 adventure days in, and I have no intention of stopping. I know this app won’t be for everyone, but I do believe it is one of the best self-care apps I have used. I just can’t recommend trying it enough.